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The Cartoon History Of The Universe: A Critique

1462 words - 6 pages

Running head: THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE: A CRITIQUE 16THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE: A CRITIQUEThe Cartoon History of the Universe: A CritiqueChamplain-St. Lawrence CollegeLarry Gonick is a cartoonist who studied at Harvard in mathematics. He has created cartoons since 1970 and he is mostly known for his cartoon named "History of the Universe". In the past 44 years, Larry Gonick has done more than 15 cartoons, many comics trips, some CD-ROMs and he has found the time to teach mathematics and to animate a math show for Square One TV. The objective of this paper is to critique his cartoon "History of the Universe", particularly the part talking about Alexander the Great. I will argue that the information found in Gonick's cartoon is mostly accurate, but there are still some gaps. Some information is not perfect. Some are missing, but in general it looks good, knowing that it is a cartoon and that it cannot be a long text. I will talk particularly about three things: the conquest of Asia, Alexander the Great's love story and his death.My first main point is Alexander's conquest of Asia. Gonick talks about Asia during approximately two pages, and that is not a lot since it was a long conquest. However, even if all the information is not necessarily present, the dates are the right ones. At page 349, the author talks about things that happened between 334 B.C. and 330. The fact is that he does not give many details and a lot of things happened during those four years. Gonick talks about Alexander and his army entering Asia in 334 and their conquest of Syria in 333. He also talks about Egypt and Phoenicia falling in 332. For the year 331, he writes that Alexander was east of the Tigris. If we look at the timeline of Alexander's life, we can see "334 Alexander crosses to Asia; Battle at the Granicus; campaigns in western Asia Minor, disbands fleet, Caria; siege of Halicarnassus" (Anson, 2013, p.xii). This proves the fact that the date is right, but that a lot of information is missing. Syria, Egypt and Phoenicia are not present in his timeline, but we can read that "[W]hile his father had acquired Thrace, Paeonia, Thessaly, and so on, Alexander had acquired the fabled lands of Lydia, Syria, Phoenicia, and now Egypt" (Anson, 2013, p.96). In 331, Alexander "marched northeast from Egypt. King Darius […] awaited him (Alexander) east of the northern Tigris, near Gaugamela village, not far from the city of Arbela (modern Erbil, in Iraq)" (Sacks, Murray, & Brody, 2005, p.17). Since the Battle of Gaugamela happened east of the northern Tigris, we can understand that Alexander was east of the Tigris in 331 and that Gonick's information is accurate. In brief, we can see that the information in his cartoon is great, but not perfect. Another thing that is not perfect is the fact that Gonick is objective in his writing. At page 350 he summarized the conquest of Asia by, "For three awful years they tramped around the mountains of central...

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